Everyone loves a good Zoo and though Atlanta has a full-blown zoo experience, it's good to know that you can get a similar experience while saving some coins!
We're talking about Noah's Ark! This place is about1hour and 20 mins from the city but it's definitely worth the drive.
With a total of 1500 animals, Noah's Ark is a 250-acre sanctuary for abused, unwanted, and neglected animals. Not only is the experience quaint and unique to Georgia, but it also has a park-like feel that makes it more intimate.
As a 501(c)(3), Noah's Ark is a Non-Profit Educational Sanctuary for farm and exotic animals that functions purely on donations. The organization is one that hopes to share the value of seeing the beauty in ALL living things.
They also rehab hundreds of animals yearly through a Wildlife Rehabilitation Program.
Though you don't get all the bells and whistles of a "regular zoo"...you do get to see volunteers assisting on-site while walking the premises with the luxury of feeding animals! There is also space for outdoor dining BUT beware of the ducks. (For anyone that's terrified of birds- this is the only threat you have to worry about along with the peacock roaming the parking lot.)
There are many ways to experience the "Ark" including the WOW Tour, Big Cat feeding tour, Painting with Doc, and being a keeper for the day - all of which are both professionally guided and cost between $150-$500 (proceeds go towards the upkeep of the animals).
However, there is also the Free Self- Guided tour with the option to donate to help with the costs of running such a unique organization. On the self-guided tour, you can experience the Ark at your own pace and be sure to take note of the signs which share the animals' names and how they got there!
Noah's Ark is open Tuesday through Saturday. The Welcome Center, picnic area, and playground open at 9 am - 4 pm for visitors and the animal habitat is open from 12 pm - 3 pm.
There is also a gift shop should you wish to grab a momento!